- 1 [uncountable, countable] metal in the form of thin thread; a piece of this a coil of copper wire a wire basket The box was fastened with a rusty wire. see also barbed wire, high wire, tripwire
- 2 [countable, uncountable] a piece of wire that is used to carry an electric current or signal overhead wires fuse wire The telephone wires had been cut. Wordfinderbattery, charge, conduct, connect, electricity, generate, insulate, power, switch, wire see also hot-wire See related entries: Electronics, How machines work
- 3the wire [singular] a wire fence Three prisoners escaped by crawling under the wire.
- 4[countable] (informal, especially North American English) = telegram We sent a wire asking him to join us. see also wiry Word Origin Old English wīr; of Germanic origin, probably from the base of Latin viere
(informal) to use your influence in order to get an advantage for somebody (informal, especially North American English) at the last possible opportunity; just in time The files arrived just under the wire and we made the deadline.